Japan Dates Announced
From Cricket Scotland
Cricket Scotland has today revealed the programme of events for the visit of the Japan national teams in May this year.
It will be a high profile visit with the Scottish Executive, the East of Scotland Cricket Association (ESCA) and Western District Cricket Union (WDCU) all contributing to various events and matches from the 1-3 May.
It will be an important tour in strengthening links between Scotland and Japan, involving sport, trade and industry along with political and cultural exchange.
The first men’s fixture will take place at Hamilton Crescent, home of West of Scotland CC, for WDCU v Japan while a match featuring a Wildcats XI and the Japan women’s team will be taking place at the home of Glasgow Academicals on the same day.
Following the two fixtures, Bill Mann and his son, Ainsley Mann, plan to host a reception in the West of Scotland CC clubhouse for both the Japanese men and women’s squads.
Thursday the 2nd May will be a historic day for Scottish cricket as the first ever women’s Cricket Scotland President’s XI fixture will take place against the Japanese women’s squad at Stirling CCC. This will again be a double header with the men’s Presidents fixture on the adjourning pitch.
Cricket Scotland President, Jack Ker said he was excited about the prospect of the historic fixture being played under his tenure, “This will be a unique occasion to have two Cricket Scotland President’s games at the same time and place, especially when one is the very first women’s President's match.
I hope that the weather is kind to us, and that a good crowd of cricket enthusiasts come along, as they will be able to divide their time between the games. It may also be an opportunity for spectators to see the development in the women’s game first hand.”
The tour has seen a motion lodged by Conservative MP, Alex Johnston in the Scottish parliament and Liz Smith, who herself has represented the Scotland women’s team in the past with the Scottish Government backing the Cricket for Change scheme.
Scottish Conservative Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Liz Smith said: “This is a very worthy charity and I’m delighted to help secure some cricket equipment for Mr Miyaji and his colleagues. I will be using my own contacts with Cricket Scotland to help provide additional support and to boost the cricket sporting links between our two nations.”
Naoki Alex Miyaji, CEO of the Japan Cricket Association, spoke to Cricket Scotland ahead of the events, "The tour to Scotland is a fantastic opportunity in many ways. Scotland and Japan have some historic and current ties through cricket. Being half Scottish and half Japanese myself, I am excited about the tour and the opportunity to establish a long and lasting relationship through cricket.
Playing at great facilities against high standard opposition will be a great experience for our players. I hope the players explore the rich culture and build lasting friendships as well. We also hope to attract some interest and awareness of Cricket in Japan, especially CRICKET FOR SMILES AID which was established in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. It aims to provide enjoyment and encouragement through cricket to the children in the affected areas."
The roots between Scottish and Japanese cricket history began with a man by the name of James Pender Mollison, born in Glasgow, Scotland, on the 21st July 1844. He was a tea inspector in Shanghai in China who went to Japan in January 1867. He was an active member of the Yokohama community. Mollison is closely connected with the founding and popularisation of cricket in Japan. Soon after his arrival in Japan, he became a founding member and was appointed President of the Yokohama Cricket Club, later renamed to the Yokohama Country and Athletic Club (YCAC).
The tour will conclude at Myreside, Edinburgh on the 3rd May, where an ESCA Select will play Japan.